Industry News

People on the move: OVG, On Location and more

Featured image credit: Oak View Group/On Location

Oak View Group, the global venue development, advisory and investment company for the sports and live entertainment industries, has appointed Katee LaPoff as chief technology officer and Josh Pell as president of premium experiences and global strategy.

LaPoff (pictured centre) will continue to report to Steve Collins, OVG’s president of global venue development, as well as chief financial officer Ade Patton and OVG360 president Chris Granger. Pell will also continue reporting to Collins as well as chief operating officer Francesca Bodie.

LaPoff has spent the last three years as OVG’s senior vice-president of project management and technology, holding responsibility for the global strategy and execution of venue technology. She previously worked as senior vice-president of technology at Madison Square Garden Companies for 10 years.

Pell (pictured left) will continue to oversee OVG’s ecommerce platform and all premium opportunities, and will continue to manage the company’s hospitality, food and beverage, and technology design initiatives globally. He previously worked as senior vice-president of global hospitality strategy planning and development, and prior to joining OVG he spent time at T-Mobile Park, Chase Center and Petco Park.

Premium experiential hospitality company On Location has appointed Isra Villalpando, Adam Wixted, and Allen Brooks to its official hospitality leadership team for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

On Location has a three-event deal with the International Olympic Committee to provide hospitality for the Paris 2024, Milano Cortina 2026 and Los Angeles 2028 Games.

Villalpando (pictured right) joins On Location as senior vice-president of operations and strategy for the Games, based in the Swiss city of Lausanne. He has over 15 years of experience working in senior roles with the IOC and International Paralympic Committee.

Wixted will serve as vice-president of global sales development and will form part of On Location’s commercial team in New York. Wixted has worked on 10 Olympic Games and a host of other events, including the FIFA World Cup, FIFA Women’s World Cup, Super Bowl, Ryder Cup and NFL International Games.

Brooks joins On Location as senior vice-president and managing director for LA 2028. Based in the US city, he will be working alongside the organising committee.

Brooks has led the planning and delivery of venue operations, sponsor activations, and hospitality programmes for Olympics, World Cups and the Super Bowl, among others. He has also held roles within Olympic organising committees and the IOC.

Robert Manfred has announced that he will be retiring as commissioner of Major League Baseball in 2029.

Manfred has served as MLB commissioner since 2015, when he took over from Bud Selig. He signed a new contract in July 2023 and he has now confirmed that he will retire when this expires in 2029.

Ramez Sheikh will step down as managing director of NBA Asia & India at the end of April.

Sheikh joined the NBA in 2016 and has overseen the league’s business in the Asia-Pacific region since May 2022. During his tenure, the NBA established an office in Singapore and hosted Global Games in Abu Dhabi and Japan.

Engineering, design and advisory practice Buro Happold has appointed Deepak Chotwani as regional managing director in India.

Chotwani will take on responsibility for the overall business across India, leading on key strategic and growth initiatives, as well as the development of the company and its people.

As a partner and member of Buro Happold’s global leadership team, Chotwani will report to chief executive Oliver Plunkett. Chotwani has held a number of senior leadership roles at Buro Happold since 2013 and previously managed the company’s business in the Asia-Pacific region.

Buro Happold has been operating in India for 15 years and has offices in Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru.

Ticketing company AXS has appointed Justin Burleigh as chief product officer.

Burleigh will lead global platform innovation to further AXS’s capabilities across the ticketing industry and will report directly to chief executive Bryan Perez. Burleigh previously served as chief digital and product officer for Progress Residential and also worked as chief product officer for Ticketmaster.

FIXR, a provider of business software for the events industry, has appointed Joel Crouch as its chief revenue officer.

Crouch previously led global revenue at Eventbrite, initially running its UK and Ireland operation before taking responsibility for all go-to-market teams across Europe, and then running its global sales organisation. At FIXR, he will be responsible for the company’s revenue strategy, identifying new business opportunities and developing key partnerships.

Do you have news of an appointment that we should know about? Get in touch by emailing and we’ll include it in our next round-up.